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Van packed with donations to help Ukrainian refugees stolen from charity
22 March 2022, 16:36
A van which was ready to head to Ukraine to deliver vital donations has been stolen in Lancashire.
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The charity International Aid Trust which is based in Chorley, said their white Mercedes van filled with medical supplies, food and toiletries, was stolen from a warehouse on Sunday evening.
Reverend Bernard Cocker, CEO of International Aid Trust, told LBC he is "disappointed that two people are trying to raise money from the misfortune of others".
Adding: "They must have cloned the key somehow, it’s one of the modern vans and keys can be cloned. You can see on CCTV that two people in a small van pull up and within minutes, our van is driven away.
"Just when we need our transport the most."
Between 50 and 80 volunteers had been helping out at a warehouse sorting, packing and loading truck, with the stolen van set to be the seventh lorry to head to Ukraine.
In a bid to find the culprits, the charity took to Twitter to write: "Sadly one of our Luton Vans has been stolen overnight from our HQ at Croft Mill Chorley. A white Transit Rare (Automatic Model) registration no: LL15 UME. As you know we are very busy at the moment and our vans are much needed, any info please get in touch and please pray!"
The charity estimate the van was worth around £20,000 not including the donations from the local community which had been piled into the back of the van on Saturday.
The charity began their work in Ukraine 30 years ago, when CEO and founder Reverend Cocker visited the country and saw the "horrendous conditions" in orphanages, hospitals and ordinary homes following the fall of the Soviet Union.